Harry Potter wand for Christmas

My daughter has been reading the Harry Potter books over the past few months, so I thought I would make her a magic wand.  But I didn't want to make a simple one, no, it had to also glow in the dark!  

I haven't seen this technique used for wand making, so I thought I would document making it.  I showed her this video, and watched as she slowly realized I was making her Christmas present.  

She now takes it with her wherever she goes, and I have been turned into a newt.  But I got better!

Auction for Scales Elementary

Each year, my daughter's school runs what they call "Invest Fest" which is how they raise money for the school year.  I will be donating this piece for the online auction, open to parents at the school.  You can find the details here:  https://app.bidcoz.com/scales

New product for my Etsy shop - Church Hymnal Art using Barnwood and Aged Sheet Music

I've always thought the sheet music from these old hymnals are works of art in themselves.  I wanted to combine this with some old barnwood that I've had for years.  The thought has been noodling around in my head for a while now, and I finally came up with a design I liked.  You can purchase these on my Etsy store here:




Two Cities Come Together

This piece came to fruition from Etsy - a customer contacted me about my skyline listing and wanted to combine two cities into one piece.  The groom (her brother) was from Chicago, and the bride-to-be was from Bangkok.  The challenge she gave me was to incorporate orange into the piece, as that was their wedding color.  Orange is not a color that lends itself to typical wood colors; sorry Cleveland Browns, your team colors are terrible!

I chose poplar as you can find it with more white/green/black/purple colors rather than red and brown.  It's really an underappreciated wood.  I found three good boards after visiting three different shops that had the coloring I was looking for.  You can see the top piece has a great knot and black/purple streaking, so I knew I wanted that to be my sky.





I probably spent more time worrying about how these three boards should line up than I did on any other aspect of this design.  I tried to pay attention to the grain, and how each piece looks compared to the next.  Once I finally got done putting that together, it was time to join the wood (used biscuits for this) and then glue up with all of my clamps.  I need more clamps!


Next, it was on to the actual painting.  I designed the Chicago skyline based on specific buildings that stand out.  I printed out a very large picture of their skyline, and cut/pasted the buildings I wanted.  I put tape over where the skyline would be, and traced out the buildings I wanted onto the tape.  I then cut out the skyline by hand with a razor.  I couldn't really do the same process with Bangkok as their buildings are curved.  It's a real challenge to cut curved lines in wood.  For this I used my die cast cutter with adhesive vinyl to cut out the bangkok skyline, as well as the font for the city names.

For paint, I used the ancient method of painting method known to some as "spray paint in an aerosol can."  I wanted to add more depth to the piece than simply putting orange on there, so I added a gradient black at the base and a little white to highlight the tops of the buildings.

I did the same for the font:

 You can really see the purple in the streaking here!  

You can really see the purple in the streaking here!  

Add a few coats of a satin polyurethane and I call it done!  I believe this is my best piece to date (though I always think that!)  Thanks for reading.

The Old Barn

This was a fun project that I took on a while back, with quite the back story.  My wife's sister was playing around on Google Maps one day with the street level view, and came across this old barn on her property.  It had been blown away by the Super Tuesday Tornado that swept through Primm Springs, TN on Feb. 5, 2008.  If a tornado gets a name and a wiki page, then you know it was a big one.

No one had a picture of this barn, but it was important to her and her in-laws as it was built by Elton Turman, her husbands great grandfather, and grandfather Lester Turman in 1945 after Lester returned home from WWII.  Lester went to trade school to be a carpenter.  His first project completed was the barn.  All of the wood used was cut from the farm.  Measurements 50 x 60 feet had a great big loft that would hold 3000 square bales of hay.  The lower level of the barn had a tack room, 5 stalls and one manger.  They hung tobacco, run cattle/mules, stored hay.  

So she asked me to help memorialize the barn in a work piece, and I was more than happy to do so.  I used some old barn wood that I had been saving (not from this barn unfortunately, that was all scattered and not recovered).  I stained it a nice dark color and using the picture she found in Google, drew out the outline and carved away skyline and driveway.  I then used my scroll saw to cut out the trees and half-inlay them into the piece.